||Jan 5, 2009
-In Abraham's Burden, master storyteller Joseph Crew presents a frighteningly surreal but altogether probable world where an innocent man can be found guiltly and executed because of prejudiced jurors, and not because of the evidence provided by the prosecution.
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As dramatic as it is compelling, Joseph N. Crew explores the intricacies of human behavior in Abraham’s Burden with a brilliant cadence. Crew examines with unique insight the role our past endlessly plays in the formation of our present day prejudices. Newly elected congresswoman Helen Sparks and her lover go missing, and the authorities believe Charlie Abraham, a Native American on the wrong side of Helen’s political agenda, is involved. While the media zeros in on Charlie, the real killer’s half brother plants evidence to ensure Charlie will be charged with the crime. As an ethnically divided jury struggles with their deliberations, the body of a headless woman is discovered in the nearby woods. The public is convinced it is their popular congresswoman. The brothers know the truth, but familial ties break and a strange justice is served, and redemption becomes possible for the wronged.
A large, milky green snake slithered across the floor toward him. He thought it was a python or an anaconda, something out of a primal swamp, for sure, and his heart stopped dead. The beast opened its mouth as wide as a tunnel, and Charlie was sucked in headfirst. The snake tried to swallow him, but Charlie stiffened his arms straight out and became a roughly hewn crucifix that hung in the snake's jaws. A faint metal sound came from somewhere and Charlie bolted upright, returning to full consciousness with his chest heaving. A chill siezed his body. He shivered and reached for a blanket on his bunk, pulled it up over his shoulders and held himself tightly.
"Crew's debut novel deftly explores the Native American experience in Washington State. With an eye for meticulous detail, Crew provides generous descriptions for characters, actions and settings. His mastery of the geography and its people is clear. The book is often a compelling--even gripping--read."
Manataka Smoke Signal News
Bear is not a person who puts much stock into fiction books, preferring the drab but enlightening discussions of astronomy, medicine, philosophy, anthropology, pyschology, and theology--all higher forms of fiction. A member of Manataka's book review review committee gave Bear a copy of Joe Crew's book, Abraham's Burden, with his strong reccomendation. "Read this book grandfather,it is well worth the time." Well, Bear is now grateful to our member and the author, Joe Crew, who is a wonderful storyteller and his book is a masterpiece. We read Abraham's Burden three times and found it more revealing and delightful after each reading. The subject matter is somewhat grim but the intricate details and real-life descriptions of American Indian communities in the Northwest create an interesting backdrop for the tribulations of the main character, Charlie Abraham, an American Indian. Joe Crew has produced a first-rate novel with his excellant writing style, devotion to accuracy and a good story. It will not surprise us if Abraham's Burden is one day made into a movie. We hope Joe Crew writes another great novel, so Bear can have the pleasure of reading more fiction stories.~ Yonv 5 May 2010
Midwest Book Review
The very best mystery/suspense thrillers are written by authors with real-life experience and expertise to bring the feel of authority to their novels. Such is the case with Joseph Crew, author of "Abraham's Burden". Crew is a retired family therapist and alcohol counselor who has worked in a Native American mental health program and adult and juvenile corrections. This is a novel about Native American and Vietnam veteran Charlie Abraham who is charged with the brutal murder of a congresswoman and her lover. An alcoholic who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, Charlie is unable to defend himself against the charge brought against him when he can't remember where he was at the time of the murders. A recently fired handgun and newspaper clippings citing the congresswoman's anti-Indian political agenda are also found in his home. But despite the mounting evidence, his troubled family believes him innocent and joins forces to help him avoid the death penality. A gripping, deftly crafted, superly paced novel, "Abraham's Burden" is highly reccomended reading and a welcome addition to any community library Mystery/Suspense collection. July 10, 2009
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